She’s a four-time Olympian for Team USA, and now Shalane Flanagan is a mom.
The former track and field and marathon star announced she and husband Steve Edwards became parents after adopting a newborn son this week.
“By far, the greatest gift we have ever been given. Jack Dean Edwards,” she captioned an Instagram slideshow of the swaddled baby. “On April 28th, Steven and I welcomed Jack with full hearts and open arms into our family through adoption.
“I was not prepared for a love like this.💙”
Jack arrived Thursday at 8:56 a.m., weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, Flanagan wrote.
The couple previously fostered teenage sisters, and soon after began looking into adoption. Flanagan opened up about the process in a March 2019 article with Women’s Running, saying they had applied for an infant adoption but were also exploring foster adoption.
“There’s such a need and my heart goes out to these kids,” she said. “I feel like Steve and I are in such a fortunate position to be able to give kids care and a home. …
“We may adopt an infant. We may adopt toddlers. We don’t know, but we’re putting ourselves in a position for whatever kids are in need. It’s scary but exciting. It’s a totally different life, but it’ll be fun.”
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Flanagan, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, made her Olympic debut in 2004 on the track, and four years later won a bronze medal that was later upgraded to silver in the 10,000-meter in Beijing. She switched to marathon after that, finishing 10th in London and sixth in Rio.
Along with Des Linden and Kara Goucher, Flanagan helped usher in a new generation of U.S. women’s marathoners, and in 2017 her win at the New York City Marathon ended a four-decade drought for U.S. women’s runners.
She retired from elite racing in October 2019 to pursue a career as a coach. NBC also hired her as an analyst.
Several fellow Team USA stars were quick to congratulate Flanagan on Instagram, including Goucher and Allyson Felix, both of whom are also mothers.
“Congrats Shalane!” Felix wrote. “So happy for you💛”
Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.